Congress reviews response to Jan.6 pipe bombs as suspect search continues years later

WASHINGTON — More than three years after the January 6, 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI is still looking for the person who planted pipe bombs around DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood the night before.


Several videos released by the FBI map out where the suspect went that night. Police say those explosives were found the next day not far from the U.S. Capitol near the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committees.

As the investigation continues, current and former law enforcement officials faced questions from Congress about the police response to those pipe bombs that day.

“The officers did the best that they could, we just didn’t have enough resources there,” said Assistant Chief Sean Gallagher with U.S. Capitol Police.

Some lawmakers raised concerns about the poor police perimeters near one of the suspected bombs.

“Trying to get to the bottom of what may have gone right, what may have gone wrong, how can we improve the security of members of both parties here,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R – Georgia.

But Assistant Chief Gallagher said in addition to the pipe bombs on January 6, the agency was also investigating a suspicious pickup truck with nearly a dozen Molotov cocktails, machetes, ammunition, and guns into and responding to hundreds of rioters storming the Capitol.

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“I would gladly give up a perimeter not being perfect to get officers to responding to their brothers and sisters who are calling for help at the U.S Capitol. It was a chaotic day,” said Assistant Chief Gallagher. “It was mentioned that we didn’t have enough Capitol police officers, we did not and we didn’t have any mutual aid on site.”

The suspect is still on the run three years later. Barry Black, a former FBI bomb technician, told lawmakers eyewitnesses are often the key to cracking these cases. Black said that’s what helped authorities track down the infamous Unabomber.

“It wasn’t until his manifesto was published that his brother provided a tip and that tip is what brought focus to Mr. [Ted] Kaczynski, not the years of forensic examinations,” he said.

Some Democrats believed this hearing was premature with the FBI continuing its investigation into the bombs.

“All critical and sensitive investigations take time. Experts are tasked with not only solving a crime but also identifying potential characteristics to prevent future events,” said Rep. Norma Torres, D – California.

The FBI is offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and conviction.

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